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    My recommendations for the November 8th election

    Following are my recommendations for the November 8th General Election.

    My first recommendation is, VOTE EARLY! You can apply online now to vote by mail. You can vote in person beginning October 24th at any early voting site. Don't put it off until Election Day.

    Candidates:    I encourage you to vote for the entire Democratic ticket, from Hillary Clinton and Tammy Duckworth all the way through the candidates for judge. Be sure to vote for Judge Ketki ("Kay") Steffen, who is running for judge in the 13th Subcircuit  (ballot number 92). She's the last candidate for election on your ballot, but she's a really good one.

    Retention Judges:   I follow the recommendations of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, who recommend a "NO" vote on Nicholas R. Ford (#232), Daniel Joseph Lynch (#242), and Bonita Coleman (#302). Vote "YES" on the others.

    Referenda:   Depending on where you live, you may or may not see all these referenda:

       1.  On the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution, vote "NO."

       2.  On the proposal to merge the office of the Cook County Recorder with the Cook County Clerk vote "YES."

       3.  On the referendum to allow Illinois workers to earn sick time, vote "YES."

       4.  On the School District 15 referendum, vote "YES."

    Email me if you want an explanation for any of my recommendations.

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  • What's New

    My open letter to the Daily Herald

    The front page of Friday’s Daily Herald (10/14/16) featured a story titled “Trump alleges ‘conspiracy’ behind claims," in which you gave uncritical publicity to Donald Trump’s demagogic and unsubstantiated paranoia. Late in the same story, you included two paragraphs on page 11 (with no headline) referring to Michelle Obama’s brave, emotional, and true speech the same day rejecting Trump’s hatred. The First Lady’s speech deserved to be heard by every American. Sadly, you and other media chose instead to give Trump more undeserved publicity and a forum for his destructive lies.

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  • Why progressives (and others) should enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton for President

    It makes me angry when people say that voting is a choice of "the lesser of two evils." That's just not true. One party is trying to move our country (and world) forward, while the other is fighting against progress. It's a choice between 95% good and 95% evil. (No one's perfect, and even the Koch Brothers support reducing mass incarceration.)

    Voters have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Other people will tell you why we must defeat Trump. But I'm going to tell you why you should proudly, happily, and enthusiastically support Hillary:

    1.  Hillary Clinton may well be the best qualified Presidential candidate in history. Who else has served in the Senate and as Secretary of State after living in the White House for eight years?

    2.  Hillary Clinton has devoted her adult life to helping those in need. She worked for the Children's Defense Fund. She worked to enact and implement the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) which brought health insurance to 6 million children. She led the effort to reform health care in the early 1990s.

    3.  Hillary Clinton has been an advocate for women's rights around the world. She went to China and said that "women's rights are human rights” over the objections of the State Department.

    4.  Hillary Clinton has been a tireless advocate for parity in the treatment of mental health by health insurers. This issue exemplified her understanding that change takes place incrementally and that it takes a commitment of years or even decades to make the progress we need.

    5.  In 1998, Hillary Clinton said that there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to bring down Bill Clinton. Conventional wisdom was that she was paranoid and thin-skinned. But time has shown that she was right. Read Blinded by the Right, Killing the Messenger, or any number of other books by former right-wing writers who were paid to make up lies about both Clintons. We can’t reward a campaign of lies and manipulation.

    6.  Hillary Clinton has shown her toughness and good judgment in dealing with the unfair attacks on her. What other candidate has been subjected to so many lies, half-truths, innuendo, sexism, and vitriol? We know Hillary can handle pressure because she has doing it for decades.

    7.  After losing in 2008, Hillary Clinton put aside her personal feelings to become a valuable partner to President Obama. She was an excellent Secretary of State, participated in negotiations that led to the Iran nuclear arms agreement, and developed relationships with foreign leaders unlike any other Presidential candidate in recent memory. She gives respect and support for the accomplishments of the Obama administration and says that she wants to build on those accomplishments.

    8.  Hillary Clinton is an excellent speaker and debater. Listen to her foreign policy speech on June 2nd: the whole speech, not just the sound bites. She held her own in debating President Obama, and many observers said that she was the better debater.

    9.  We need to guard against sexism, even in our own reactions. Trump said that Hillary Clinton was "yelling" and that she had an unpleasant voice. But Trump, Sanders, and other male candidates "yell" far more loudly and intemperately than Hillary ever does. When you listen to her speak, ask how you would react if the same words came from a male voice at the same volume.

    10.  Jill Abramson in the left-wing Guardian says that “Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest.” Trump and other right-wingers accuse her of being dishonest, but they are basing their claims on the phony scandals the right wing has been peddling for years. No politician (and no person) can be in the public eye so long without saying things that can be pointed to as "flip-flops," but name one important thing Hillary Clinton has been untruthful about.

    11.  Hillary Clinton has apologized for her mistakes. She has said she regrets her vote to authorize President Bush to intervene in Iraq, and she's said she's sorry she didn't handle her email differently. No politician can avoid making mistakes, but a good one learns from her mistakes.

    12.  Hillary Clinton’s election would have the same impact on young women that the election of President Obama had on young black people.

    13.  In endorsing Hillary Clinton for President, the New York Times said:

    Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe. 

    14.  Rolling Stone endorsed her, stating:

    On the question of experience, the ability to enact progressive change, and the issue of who can win the general election and the presidency, the clear and urgent choice is Hillary Clinton.

    15.  Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention group with more than three million supporters,  endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, saying:

    Hillary is the only candidate who has consistently stood on the side of gun safety. She’s the only candidate has stood with gun violence survivors. And she’s the only candidate who has shown the backbone to stand up to the gun lobby’s extreme “guns everywhere” agenda. 

    18.   In 2011, Secretary Clinton went to Pakistan and demanded greater cooperation to reign in groups responsible for terrorist attacks across the border into Afghanistan, saying that:

    You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.

    That showed courage in confronting a U.S. ally to change their behavior. (I think this statement also captures what has happened to the Republican Party.)

    16.  Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination fair and square, playing by the rules, with no manipulation or underhanded tactics. With or without superdelegates, she has earned the right to be the leader of our party. Progressives must unite to win and to continue the progress we’ve made in the last eight years.

    17.   I'm proud to have helped elect the first African-American President. Let's be proud to have elected the first woman as President.

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  • Recommendations for the March 15, 2016 Primary

    Matt Flamm, Palatine Township Democratic Committeeman, has issued a list of his recommendations for voters living in the Greater Palatine area. "These are my personal recommendations," said Flamm. Greater Palatine Area Democrats (GPAD) has not endorsed candidates, and we welcome supporters of all Democratic candidates.

    Flamm put special emphasis on several local candidates. "Kim Foxx has new ideas about how to transform the criminal justice system. Jacob Meister understands what needs to be done to clean up the office of the Clerk or Circuit Court and to bring it into the 21st Century."

    Flamm also endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. "Secretary Clinton has a broad range of experience. She joined President Obama's cabinet as Secretary of State, a position in which she has helped improve our safety and our reputation around the world. She has withstood a relentless propaganda campaign by the right wing. In doing so, she has proven that she is smart and tough enough to be President."

    Flamm' recommendations can be found by clicking on this link. You can print out a list of endorsements and bring it with you when you vote.

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  • The rising tide of Democratic demographics

    Following is a thought-provoking excerpt from a long article in Rolling Stone:

    By the eve of 2016, evidence of a profound social and cultural revolution begun decades ago became too strong to ignore. The rise of the Internet, changing patterns in immigration, racial and ethnic diversity, family organization and gender roles, as well as declining religious piety, have created an America unimaginable when Clinton and Gingrich squared off 20 years ago. 

    According to data reported by the respected Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg, a majority of U.S. households are now headed by unmarried people; non-religious seculars outnumber Protestants; and two-thirds of women are either the breadwinners or co-breadwinners of their households. Racial minorities now constitute nearly 40 percent of the nation's population. According to one Gallup Poll, 60 percent to 70 percent of Americans consider homosexual relations, out-of-wedlock births and divorce as "morally acceptable."

    Even more striking, according to Greenberg, the electorate has changed as well. In 2012, the combined numbers of minorities, single women, millennials and seculars formed 51 percent of the nation's voters. In 2016, Greenberg's analysis shows, these same groups will form 63 percent of the electorate. As each of these groups supports Hillary Clinton for president by margins of two to one, Greenberg writes, "It is fair to say that the United States has reached an electoral tipping point."

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  • A Successful Fundraiser

    Thanks to everyone who made our October 21st fundraiser a great success. Special thanks to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who spoke with many of those present and gave a short, inspirational speech. President Preckwinkle is the type of public servant who makes us proud to be Democrats.

    Thanks to the many elected officials who attended including Cook County Recorder Karen Yarborough, State Senator Laura Murphy, State Representative Elaine Nekritz, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Mariyana Spyropoulus, Justice Bernetta Lampkin, Judge Rossana Fernandez. and Judge Fredrick Bates. Thanks also to the many candidates who attended, including Josina Morita and Tom Greenhaw, candidates for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board; Jacob Meister, candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County; Dr. Robert Marshall, candidate for Congress in the 6th Congressional District; and Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon and Pat Heneghan, candidates for Circuit Court Judge.

     We are especially grateful to our sponsors:

    • Platinum Sponsor: Alan Prochaska
    • Gold Sponsors: Painters District Council #14, State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, and State Sen. Laura Murphy.
    • Silver Sponsors:  Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Recorder Karen Yarbrough, State Sen. Julie Morrison, Patrick J. Heneghan, David Gurion, Laddi Singh, Elizabeth Marcin, Lyn and Frank Huckin, and Friends of Flamm.


    We awarded our annual Jim Hightower Community Organizing Award to Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) for its continuing actions to organize local progressives around health care reform, gun violence prevention, immigration reform, diversity, and economic and fiscal issues. Bil Davis, Renee Gladstone, Patrick Watson, and Harold Whyte accepted the award on behalf of NWSOFA.

    If you were meaning to make a contribution but didn't get around to it before the fundraiser, there's still time. You can mail your check to GPAD, P.O. Box 2120, Palatine, IL 60078 or go to www.gpadems.org/fundraiser to contribute online.

    This event will allow us to continue to maintain our year-round office, which is available for use by all Democrats and progressives, and to continue our efforts to identify and reach out to Democrats in the Palatine area.

    Finally, thanks to Susan MacDonald, Beth Marcin, Renee Shapiro, Harold Whyte, and Patrick Watson, who helped make this event go smoothly. An organization is only as good as its volunteers, and we are grateful to have some of the best.

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